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Tile from an Inscriptional Frieze

Object Name:
Tile from a frieze
Date:
A.H. 734/A.D. 1334
Geography:
Iran, Kashan
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Stonepaste; modeled, inglaze painted in blue, luster-painted on opaque white glaze
Dimensions:
H. 17 5/8 in. (44.8 cm) W. 15 1/2 in. (39.4 cm) D: 2 5/8 in. (6.7 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics-Tiles
Credit Line:
H.O. Havemeyer Collection, Gift of Horace Havemeyer, 1940
Accession Number:
40.181.6
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455
Inscribed: "and the earth, in six d[ays]" from Qur'an 7:54

This tile and tile 40.181.5 once graced the Imamzada 'Ali ibn Ja'far tomb complex in the city of Qum. The associated mihrab, now in the National Museum of Iran, bears the date of Ramadan 734 / May 1334, and the signature of Yusuf ibn 'Ali Muhammad ibn Abi Tahir (active 1305–34). Yusuf was the fourth and last generation of the Abu Tahir family of potters from Kashan, and this tile represents one of the final examples of the family's long-lived tile-making tradition.
Inscription: In Arabic; in the thuluth script:

"and the earth, in six d(ays)" (Qur'an chapter 7, verse 54)
From the mihrab of the Imamzada 'Ali ibn Ja'far, Qum, Iran (from 1334)

Imamzada 'Ali ibn Ja'far mausoleum, Qum, Iran (from 1334); H. O. Havemeyer Collection, New York (by 1931–40; gifted to MMA)
Dimand, Maurice S. "The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, May 12 to June 28, 1931." In Loan Exhibition of Ceramic Art of the Near East. New York, 1931. no. 77, p. 19.

Watson, Oliver. Persian Lustre Ware. London; Boston: Faber and Faber, 1985. p. 196, Appendix III, no 123.

Carboni, Stefano, and Tomoko Masuya. Persian Tiles. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. no. 23, p. 28, ill. (b/w).

Frelinghuysen, Alice Cooney. Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. p. 121, ill. pl. 112 (color).



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